Does Google Pay Per Click Influence Organic Search Results?

May 31, 2007 • 9:14 am | comments (4) by twitter | Filed Under Google AdWords

A Google user posts on the Google Groups asking whether signing up to a Google AdWords campaign will expedite her site listing in the organic SERPs.

However, AdWordsPro of Google writes to say that there is no correlation between PPC and organic listings:

It is very important to note that there is absolutely no connection between being an AdWords advertiser, and having your site appear in the unpaid search results. One does not effect the other in any way. To put it another way, being an AdWords advertisers will neither help nor harm your chances of appearing on the 'organic' search engine.

AdWordsPro adds that this information has been gathered after careful observation after "quite a few years at Google."

Still, this has been a "conspiracy theory," to quote Barry, since the inception of AdWords. From a Search Engine Watch Forums thread, a member noticed that his paused AdWords campaign yielded a drop in organic referrals as well. Member scrubs adds that "Over the last year I would say the AdWords algo is as complex and as clever as the natural algo. Both are looking at different aspects on page to warrent your position in the listings."

Forum discussion continues at Google Groups and Search Engine Watch.

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David E.

06/01/2007 02:26 pm

I had a similar experience when I paused my Adwords campaign. I went from the first page for most of my keywords the same day I paused it. When I unpaused the campaign, I was back to my former rankings within the hour. This is of course anecdotal evidence of a connection, but it was not my imagination. It really did happen.


06/01/2007 03:07 pm

If you run an ad on Google AdWords, those ads will often end up on pages that are indexed. If you do a search for your URL, you will be able to see the listings along with your URL and if you look at the course code the links are not "no followed".


06/01/2007 03:09 pm

ahh, yes, that would be "source" code :) (not course code)

Michael Martinez

06/01/2007 04:21 pm

David E., showing cause and effect is not easy with search engine results. Remember that what you do is only 1 out of 4 factors that affect search engine results. If the behavior is predictable, you should be able to replicate it consistently. What I normally recommend that people do to test for cause and effect is: 1) Make the change you think causes the result 2) Record search results after the change has been reflected in the search engine's visible data 3) Undo the change 4) Record search results after the undo has been reflected in the search engine's visible data Repeat steps 1 through 4. If there is variation in results, you have not shown cause-and-effect. If there is NO variation in results, you MAY have shown cause-and-effect. The next step to do is to wait a little bit and try the test again. If the second test yields the same consistent results, you have shown cause-and-effect. Most SEOs never engage in this kind of simple, easy-to-do controlled testing. That is why most SEOs' analyses of search factors are bogus.

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